“Dear frozen yogurt. You are the celery of desserts. Be ice cream or be nothing.” – Ron Swanson
CC: sorbet, gelato, and Halo Top.
There are plenty of gelato and froyo shops in DC, yet frustratingly few real ice cream spots to satisfy your craving for that specific sweet scoop.
Americans love ice cream. A staggering 9% of cow’s milk in America is dedicated to ice cream, yet the summer staple is not easy to find in the nation’s capital unless you hit the frozen aisle of the grocery store for an entire pint, or cross state lines into Maryland or Virginia.
Mr. Swanson might argue that D.C.’s ice cream parlor deficiency is un-American, really. Not only does the nation’s capital have no real voting rights (Taxation Without Representation, anyone?), but it has a serious lack of establishments that sell one of the most popular desserts in the country. The irony is puzzling.
Search no more, because #FrayLife has the scoop on where locals and tourists alike can find Swanson-approved American ice cream in this Capital City.
Location: 1633 Connecticut Ave NW
This ice cream shop in Dupont Circle has been around since 1985. Not only do they make their own classic and unique ice cream flavors, but they offer homemade baklava, cupcakes, and cookies as well.
Location: 1407 T St NW
The District’s newest ice cream shop was voted “Best Ice Cream in DC” by Washingtonian Magazine multiple years in a row. Flavors rotate seasonally and include quirky ones like Chocolate Matzo Crack, Citrus Schezwan Peppercorn, and Honey Lemon Lavender alongside traditional flavors like Fresh Minty Chip, Cookies & Cookie Dough, and Bold Vanilla.
Location: 3214 P St NW
This Georgetown classic offers homemade ice cream with blend-in options and an entire fudge counter. Warning: expect to wait in a big line during the summer months.
Location: 2831 Clarendon Blvd, Arlington
Science + ice cream = Nicecream. They have a rotating menu of flavor creations mixed-to-order in stand mixers and frozen with liquid nitrogen. D.C. is getting two Nicecream locations this summer in Shaw and Adams Morgan, but you can visit them now at their current locations across the river in Alexandria and Clarendon.
Location: 2029 P St NW
If scoops of ice cream aren’t your thing, try it in this trendy, Instagrammable roll-form. Watch the liquid ice cream freeze as it is spread on a cooled anti-griddle and shaped into rolls Thai-style.
Location: 1925 14th St NW
Go to Jeni’s for seriously imaginative flavors. No ingredient is off-limits for founder Jeni Britton Bauer, who has been doing this for nearly two decades. She’s created flavors like Sweet Potato with Toasted Marshmallows, Goat Cheese with Red Cherries, Lemon Buttermilk, and Brambleberry Crisp, to name a few.
Location: Union Market
You don’t need to drive all the way to a Pennsylvania farm for a taste of this clean, artificial-free artisan ice cream. You can also pick up all of your dairy necessities here that include award-winning cheese, milk, and yogurt.
Location: The Streets
High-quality ice cream via food truck! Check their website or follow them on social to see where you can find them in the city each day.
Do you know of another awesome local ice cream shop we should add to this list? Next time you visit one of our (or one of your) favorite ice cream places and post on social, don’t forget to throw in #FrayLife so we can see!
Want to burn off some calories after indulging in ice cream but don’t feel like hitting the gym? Check out these upcoming sweat and sip events.
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